Two locally renowned musicians are teaming up again to invite all lovers of music to “An Evening with Gail Riddall and Kyle Anderson.”
To keep their audience fully engaged in the music, their venue of choice is the Opus Café and Bistro.
“The Opus Café has probably the warmest stage I’ve ever played on,” Anderson said. “From a musician’s point of view, to have that intimate contact with a wrap-around audience, sitting down in a concert situation, opposed to a rowdy bar, people are there to hear the music and the artist. We discourage conversations.”
“It’s a small venue but we can pack 50 to 60 people in there quite easily,” Riddall said. “It gives you something to work towards. I always enjoy doing at least a couple of shows a year because you get really focused on rehearsing and making the songs better. It’s kind of giving them new twists.”
The show will feature a mix of the pair’s original collaborations with classic ballads, and Anderson will be opening the show with a tribute to James Taylor.
“James Taylor’s been an absolulte anchor and hero ever since I started playing guitar when I was 10 years old,” Anderson said. “I didn’t rock when I was a teenager, I liked pop and soft music. I’ve always been an old softie, I like pretty songs.”
Anderson has played a major role in Riddall’s singing career, helping her to hit the ground running when she decided to re-ignite her vocal abilities in 2007, as her only previously previous singing experience came as a young girl.
While Anderson has been involved as a musician in Penticton for the past 40 years, it will be Riddall who headlines the upcoming show.
“I enjoy being a catalyst for other peoples musical dreams,” Anderson said.
“We fit really well together,” Riddall said. “I can sing an octave higher than Kyle and it just works. Our voices also fit with songs where one of us is doing the melody and the other one is doing harmony. You look for that fit because when you’re working in partnership you want a voice that blends really well with what you do, and they do, we fit.”
“Gail’s a strong solo performer, and she’s singing the original music, so with the new song Branson we want to put her front and centre,” Anderson said.
Branson is about a service dog belonging to Riddall who assisted her her with blindness, and he passed away over the summer.
“I wrote Branson looking at it from her point of view about having that level of trust in a relationship as she has with her service dogs,” Anderson said.
“If you listen to the song, it doesn’t really mention a dog anywhere, it can relate to a partner of any kind,” Riddall said. “Kyle wrote it because he knows how I felt about my seventh dog, and I lost that dog this summer.”
Riddall now has a new dog, Berkley. She’s had service dog partners for the past 50 years.
“That’s the tough part about having dogs, you love them and they give you so much and then you have to let them go,” she said.
A previous dog of Riddall’s, a yellow lab names Lars, would sometimes join her in singing practice.
“For the first show I did, I really worked hard to rehearse and I was practicing Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” she said. “I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the background of the music. It turned out that my dog at the time was sitting beside me, and he had his head back and was singing along with my music. He didn’t seem to care for some of those top notes.”
The show takes place on Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets cost $15 at the door, and to buy in advance or to book a dinner before the show, call the cafe at 778-476-5856.